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Police Blog Series #4 – Road to Policing

August 17, 2010

It was close to 4 am, and we had just finished the paperwork for a domestic dispute.  It had been a busy night, but we were almost done.  The radio was awkwardly quiet; I knew what my partners were thinking…finally…time for a coffee break.  As we sat around a desk in the Constable’s common area, we talked about our plans for the upcoming days off.  Richard was moving into a new house and was trying to recruit help with the move. Nicole’s best friend was flying in from the States, and she was excited about showing her around town.  I was looking forward to attending my kid’s weekend hockey tournament.

The discussion somehow turned from our weekend plans to how and why we decided to become police officers.  Richard was a teacher prior to joining the police force.  He put 15 years into teaching, but always had an itch to join law enforcement.  He was 42 when he was first hired, and explained he failed the physical exam twice prior to finally getting it right.  It took him two “frustrating” years, but now that he’s on the job, he believes it was all worth the wait.  Nicole was only 20 when she was first hired.  A little bit of an anomaly, but she demonstrates maturity beyond her years.  She first moved out on her own at the age of 16 and became very independent.  She only took a couple months to finish her testing and get hired on.  Nicole explained she met a police officer at a very early age while lost at a shopping mall.  She never forgot how kind the officer was when he held her hand and helped find her mom.  She wanted to provide that same reassurance and security to someone else one day.

I was fresh out of school, ready to tackle the world.  I wanted to help people, be a problem solver but I didn’t know how.  A friend suggested I would be well suited as a police officer, so I researched it.  I came to find that the salary was competitive, job security was excellent, and pension was amazing.  It fit my active lifestyle and I looked forward to having daily challenges.  I put my name in the hat and dedicated my resources to becoming a community leader…a police officer.

As we finished our coffees, I realized that although the three of us come from different paths, we all arrived at the same destination.  Every recruit or police officer has his/her story, whether their path was frustrating, easy, or a mix of both.  What matters is that we were all finally here, blessed to do what we love each and every day.

Officer Sterling

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